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The Ss Became Increasingly Important to the Nazis as Time Went on. (1934-45)

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- The SS became increasingly important to the Nazis as time went on. (1934-45)

Seb Mundy

The Schutzstaffel or SS was the very epitome of Nazism. Their strict policies on racial purity, their focus on elitism, their unrelenting determination to purge those perceived as impure all show this. The SS was crucial to the progression of the Third Reich pre war and during the war and it can be argued that the Nazis became more dependent on them as time went on. An additional reason for the importance of the SS was their exclusive loyalty to Hitler as this assured Hitler that they were no threat to his hegemony.

The beginning of Nazi reliance of the SS can be traced back to the Night of the Long Knives. As the Reich went on, the SS took over more responsibilities, including the complete control of police, the implementation and operation of concentration camps and also the organisation and execution of important military operations.

At the end, the SS were destroyed along with the rest of the Third Reich and the majority of their officers tried for war crimes

The SS were important to the Nazis from very early on. One example of this was their use in the ‘Night of the Long Knives’ in 1934, where the SS was used instead of the Heer (army) to execute most of the SA (storm-troopers) commanding officers, the SS was used instead of the Heer as the Heer refused to fire upon fellow Germans. This event also distinguished the SS as a separate organisation from the SA - the SS had previously been a division of the SA from their formation in 1925. This distinction from the SA was crucial as it was the starting point for the development and dominance of the SS. The Heer’s unwillingness to carry out the killing of the heads of the SA meant that it no longer was the sole bearer of arms; this was a pivotal power shift to the SS and was the opening to the Nazi’s future dependence on it.

The Waffen SS or the military arm, formed in 1933, provides many good examples of how the Nazi’s relied on the SS. The Waffen SS was initially made up exclusively of Ayrans whose racial purity was traced back to 1750 before selection but, because of the success of the Waffen SS in combat operations, conscription was introduced by Hitler in 1940 and by the end of the war more than 60% of the members of the Waffen SS were ethnic non-Germans. There was even a Muslim division in the Waffen SS. This gives strength to the argument that the Nazis over time became more and more reliant on the SS in military operations and, paradoxically, that the SS was forced to surrender some of their elitism so that Hitler could expand their numbers. In 1935 there were 3 divisions of the Waffen SS and by 1945 there were 38, many of the divisions were made of entirely non Ayrans barring the officers who were all German.

Although the


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